Shopper numbers increased sharply in January with rises across both types of destination most popular with furniture and floorcoverings retailers.

Retail park footfall climbed 5.2 per cent with High Streets also rising against January 2014, as total shopper footfall advanced 1.2 per cent year-on-year, according to the BRC/Springboard Footfall Monitor.

The out-of-town shopping park increase was the biggest in two years with the rise on the high street the first documented by Springboard since July 2013.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: "The improvement in shopper footfall witnessed in January provided a timely and welcome fillip to retailers at the start of the year, with retail parks once again recording a stellar performance.”

The survey also examines national town centre vacancy rates, with a 40 basis point drop to 8.7 per cent in January 2016 meaning store occupancy levels are at their highest since the BRC/Springboard first began reporting the data in July 2011.